Braille Monitor                                                           April 2007

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2007 Convention Attractions


From the Editor: Every year’s national convention is an absolutely unique event. The agenda items, the exhibits, the new friends and business acquaintances: all these give each convention its own character and significance. Some activities lend a luster to the convention in part because they do take place every year and provide helpful fixed points in the whirl of events. In this category are the meetings of the Resolutions Committee and the board of directors, the annual banquet, and the many seminars and workshops of the various divisions and committees. Here is a partial list of activities being planned by a number of Federation groups during the 2007 convention, June 30 through July 6. Presidents of divisions, committee chairpeople, and event presenters have provided the information. The agenda will list the locations of all events taking place during convention week.

Access Technology Day at National Convention
by Steve Booth

Mike Tindell demonstrates an accessible PDA.In 2007 the NFB’s Technology Day is Saturday, June 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The NFB Jernigan Institute access technology team is offering four sessions covering a wide variety of topics of interest from Windows Vista to the accessibility of the Linux operating system and open architecture.

The first session, 8:30-10:00, will take a look at computer-based communications for the deaf-blind. This session is for those interested in learning about the latest methods for communicating with deaf-blind people. We demonstrate the latest technical solutions enabling deaf-blind people to talk in person or by telephone. Using Braille devices with keyboard input, they can talk in real time to other deaf-blind or sighted people.

Session two, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., explores PDAs and new cell phone technology. We will demonstrate how to keep contacts and calendar appointments on the computer, the PDA, and a notetaker and how to synchronize information between these devices.
In the afternoon, 1:30-3:00 p.m., we will take a look at Vista, the new Microsoft Windows operating system. We will explore its accessibility using popular screen-access programs. We will go through Windows Vista settings and demonstrate programs running under Vista.

The final session, 3:30-5:00 p.m., explores the Linux operating system and the available screen-access software that operates under the Linux environment. We will explain why someone might want to use Linux and will demonstrate programs being used.

Affiliate Action Action
by Joanne Wilson

A crowd of young people enjoy lunch in the Affiliate Action suite during the scholarship alumni mentoring program meeting.The Department of Affiliate Action will sponsor a wide array of programs during this year’s national convention in Atlanta. Each of these agenda items will positively influence issues of members or money, the two primary pillars of volunteer NFB operations. Plan to come and take part in one or more of these exciting, member-oriented sessions at this summer’s convention. Specific details about room locations in the hotel for each of these functions will be available in the convention agenda. These events have been specially designed to appeal to a wide range of Federationists. We trust that one or more of the following activities will interest you:

Attention All First-Time Convention Attendees

We invite you to attend a reception previewing our 2007 NFB convention agenda. Along with President Marc Maurer, former rookies will be on hand to welcome you to the convention and to answer questions about the week's activities. Our annual convention is a truly memorable and exciting event, and we look forward to sharing the week with each of you. Please consult the agenda for the location of this Rookie Round-up, and check the Affiliate Action Suite for other rookie events throughout the week.

Date: Saturday, June 30, 2007
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Dress: Casual

For more information contact Pam Allen, (800) 234-4166; <pallen@lcb-ruston.com>.

BLIND, Inc., Karaoke Night
by Shawn Mayo

Riley Robinson performs at Karaoke Night.Whether you are a contender to become the next American Idol, shatter the stereotype about blind people possessing great musical talent, or fall somewhere in between, you'll have a great time at BLIND, Incorporated's annual Karaoke Night on Saturday, June 30 from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Bring all your friends or come make new ones and enjoy music, door prizes, and a cash bar.

Sing solo, with a group, or just sit back and enjoy the musical stylings of your fellow Federationists. Be sure to get there early to hear President Maurer sing. And, if that's not enough, come find out what song the BLIND, Incorporated, staff and students will sing this year. Meet current students and alumni as they share their experiences from training.

Admission is only $5, and song lists will be available in Braille that night. Don't miss your chance to be a rock star.

Volunteers for Children’s Activities Needed
by Melissa Riccobono

A little girl assembles a tactile puzzle at the Braille Carnival.Do you enjoy spending time with blind and sighted children? Are you an energetic person who loves to participate in hands-on activities with equally energetic kids? Will you be at national convention on Saturday, June 30? If you've answered yes to all of these questions, we have a fantastic opportunity for you. We are looking for volunteers for a variety of children's activities on Saturday afternoon, June 30. Volunteers will be paired with one child or possibly two children to make sure they are safe and engaged in age-appropriate activities of many types.

If you would like to serve as a volunteer or would like more information, please contact Melissa Riccobono at <maricco@uwalumni.com>.

An Evening at the Colorado Center for the Blind
by Julie Deden

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a student at the Colorado Center for the Blind? Join the students and staff Wednesday, July 4, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. to discover what your future could hold. Hands-on demonstrations from cane travel to Braille. See what it’s like to rock climb and create sculpture. Learn about the latest in technology and pick up some new recipes. Come see us for door prizes and lots of fun. Consider training; it can change your life.

Charitable Estate-Planning and Gift Strategies Workshop
by Kristi Bowman

You are invited to attend a workshop to learn about planned giving through income-generating gifts and to receive information about the Jacobus tenBroek Society, conducted by Kristi Bowman, NFB outreach officer. Join us Wednesday, July 4, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Committee for the Promotion, Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology
by Gary Wunder

Do you love the exhibit hall but wish you had a chance to hear about products offered in a quieter atmosphere? Do you fear that, for all your searching, you are still missing some gadget or service? If the answer to either is yes, come join the Committee for the Promotion, Evaluation, and Advancement of Technology on Monday evening, July 2. Check your agenda for the location and time. If they make the request, we will give technology vendors five minutes to discuss their offerings and to hand out any information they wish.

For more information about our showcase, please write to Gary Wunder at 3910 Tropical Lane, Columbia, Missouri 65202 or email <gwunder@earthlink.net>.

Committee on Research and Development
by Curtis Chong

The Committee on Research and Development of the National Federation of the Blind will meet during the NFB convention from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. The committee is interested in a variety of issues. Can optical character recognition (OCR) technology be used to recognize mathematical expressions and convert them into an accessible electronic format? What should be built into hybrid (quiet) cars to make them easier to hear without annoying everyone in the neighborhood? Can we develop a portable device that will read the small displays that are becoming more prevalent on consumer electronic devices? How can we present audio information more quickly and efficiently? How can we attack the graphical verification problem which is preventing the blind from independently accessing a growing number of Web sites?

If any of these questions interests you, then come to the meeting of the Committee on Research and Development. Perhaps you can suggest an approach which nobody else has considered. For more information about the Committee on Research and Development or to learn more about the July meeting, contact Curtis Chong, the chairman of the committee. He can be reached by phone at (515) 277-1288 (evenings and weekends) or email at <curtischong@earthlink.net>.

Deaf-Blind Division
by Robert Eschbach

The Deaf-blind Division will be meeting on Monday evening, July 2, beginning with registration at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will start at 7:00. We will be finished no later than 10:00. We will have opportunities to learn about new technologies to assist the deaf-blind and discuss the future development of our division.

For those interested, limited convention assistance is available. Applications must be made by May 31. For an application, contact Robert Eschbach, president, at email <rmesch@earthlink.net> or phone (520) 836-3689. Those needing interpreter services should also contact Mr. Eschbach no later than May 31. Join us in Atlanta.

Diabetes Action Network Seminar
by Lois Williams

The Diabetes Action Network (DAN) seminar will be held July 2 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The theme will be “Lose to Gain”--lose a few pounds to gain better diabetes control. The speaker is Glenda Summerville, FNP-C/CDE. We will give special recognition to those who have an A1c of 7 percent or less.

Ham Radio Group Emergency Preparedness Seminar
by D. Curtis Willoughby

In accord with long-standing tradition, the first meeting of the 2007 convention will be the Emergency Preparedness Seminar conducted by the NFB Ham Radio Group. The seminar will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 30. We will discuss frequencies to be used during the convention and especially those to be used in the event of an emergency call-out during the convention. We will also discuss those architectural features of the convention hotel and other information that NFB hams need to know if an emergency response is necessary.

The Ham Radio Group has a service project to serve the Federation by handling the distribution of special FM receivers. These receivers allow hearing-impaired conventioneers to hear a signal directly from the public address system. This signal is much easier to understand than the sound that regular hearing aids pick up in a large meeting room. These same receivers are used to allow Spanish speakers (those who do not understand English easily or speak it fluently) to hear a Spanish translation of the convention and the banquet.
We will take some time at the Emergency Preparedness Seminar to prepare for this project as well. It is important that all group members willing to help come to the seminar. Any Atlanta hams willing to do a little frequency scouting before the convention are asked to contact Curtis Willoughby, KA0VBA (303) 424-7373; <ka0vba@dimcom.net>.

Ham Radio Group Annual Business Meeting
by D. Curtis Willoughby

The annual business meeting of the NFB Ham Radio Group will be held at noon on Thursday, July 5.

The Human Services Division
by Melissa Riccobono

Are you a student majoring in psychology, social work, music therapy, dance therapy, addiction counseling, or a related field? Are you a professional employed in, or seeking employment in, one of these fields? If so, please join the National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division for our annual seminar and business meeting at this year’s national convention in Atlanta. The National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division will meet on Monday, July 2. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the seminar/business meeting will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The Human Services Division was formed in order to allow blind psychologists, social workers, counselors, other human service workers, and those interested in human service fields to network, ask questions, and share techniques with one another. We will discuss techniques blind human service workers use in order to get the job done. Please join us for this informative seminar. Dues are $5. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Riccobono, president, National Federation of the Blind Human Services Division, by phone at (410) 235-3073 or by email at <maricco@uwalumni.com>.

The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players
by Jerry Whittle

The Louisiana Center for the Blind Players presents Out of the Cradle, an original play by Jerry Whittle. A young blind man, struggling to find the meaning of life and still adjusting to his blindness, finds answers by helping other people. Tickets $5; all proceeds go to the summer training programs for blind children at the Louisiana Center for the Blind. Two performances on Monday, July 2, 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.

The 2007 March for Independence
by Ron Gardner

The March for Independence logo includes these words along with five Whozits in a line.By this time it is no secret that at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3, hundreds, perhaps a thousand, Federationists will gather outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel to begin the first-ever March for Independence. Those who have raised at least $250 will be wearing their March T-shirts, and those who have raised at least $500 will have an additional yet-to-be-announced token. Together we will walk to beautiful Centennial Park, where President Maurer will introduce the dignitaries who have marched with us including civil rights pioneer, Congressman John Lewis and Honorary March Chairman Andrew Young, who has served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta. There also marchers who have raised $1,000 or more will receive medallions to acknowledge their achievement. By the time we complete this ceremony, we should have just enough time to return briskly to the hotel, turn in our signs, and march into the ballroom for the opening session of the 2007 convention.

You will not want to miss this memorable event. It is not yet too late to register online for the March and begin to work to raise funds from friends and family members. When you register, you will automatically receive a personalized Web page that your sponsors can use to contribute and to help you earn your T-shirt or even a medallion. Remember that the most difficult pledge to get is the first one. If you are a walker, bring your hiking shoes to the convention. But even if walking is not your thing, you will also be able to take part in this unforgettable event, so register and begin raising funds today. See you in Centennial Park.

Meet the Blind Month Activities and Other Special Events Seminar:
Plans and Action Equal Success

by Jerry Lazarus

October is Meet the Blind Month. Find out about lively and entertaining events that can occur so that sighted people can meet their blind neighbors. Session includes encouraging chapters to try new types of fundraising and meet-and-greet events. The seminar will be conducted by Jerry Lazarus, NFB director of special projects, Wednesday, July 4, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith
by Tom Anderson

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will hold its annual meeting on Monday, July 2. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m., and the meeting will be called to order at 1:00 p.m. The theme of this year’s meeting will be “Blessed are the peacemakers, overcoming challenges in faith-based communities through negotiation.”

A panel of Federationists will discuss the challenges they face and the way they use negotiation to achieve their goals in places of worship. Another panel of students will describe their experiences in faith-based educational settings. We will also have a business meeting in which elections will take place.

The National Association of the Blind in Communities of Faith will again coordinate the devotional services that will take place Tuesday, July 3 through Friday, July 6. The theme of the devotions will be “Redemption and Reconciliation.” Devotions will be held an hour before the morning convention sessions and adjourn fifteen minutes before the opening gavel each morning.
Please contact me if you would like to preach or sing at these devotional services. My address is 5628 South Fox Circle Apartment A, Littleton, Colorado, 80120. My home phone number is (303) 794-5006. My work number is (303) 778-1130, extension 220. My email address is <tanderson@cocenter.org>.

National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs
by James R. Bonerbo, CPA

The National Association of Blind Entrepreneurs will hold its annual seminar for those who want information about starting a business on Saturday, June 30, room to be announced.

The seminar will take place from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. It will cover topics like accounting and tax problems, creating a business plan, types of organization, and other areas of importance to the beginning entrepreneur. We will have a further question and answer session and discussion of many current problems facing the small businessperson in today's competitive world.

National Association of Blind Lawyers
by Scott LaBarre

Each year the National Association of Blind Lawyers (NABL) conducts its annual meeting at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind, and this year is no different. We will meet on Monday, July 2, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., exact room to be announced. The purpose of our annual meeting and seminar is multifaceted.

We will examine emerging trends in the law that affect blind people and others with disabilities. For example, we will address the ongoing struggle to gain equal access to Web sites, employment, and legal texts and access to a level playing field for legal examinations like the LSAT and bar exams. Other discrimination and civil rights cases will be reviewed. We will discuss how to practice law most effectively as a blind or visually impaired legal professional, focusing this year on the most effective technology for blind lawyers. We may also address voting rights and anticipated amendments to the Help America Vote Act. We will undoubtedly also hear from the American Bar Association as well as local law schools and bar associations about their outreach efforts to blind and visually impaired students and legal professionals. Because our agenda covers substantive areas of the law and addresses the practice of law itself, many of our members have applied for and received continuing legal education credits for our seminar.

At the conclusion of the seminar we will hold a reception for NABL members and seminar participants to promote networking and fellowship within our membership. If you are a lawyer, legal professional, or law student or are otherwise interested in law, the NABL meeting in Atlanta on July 2 is the place to be.

Newsletter Publications Committee
by Norma Crosby

The Newsletter Publications Committee is the Federation’s oldest committee. Its members meet to discuss issues related to the publication of affiliate and division newsletters and other materials designed to educate the public about the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind. We will meet this summer in Atlanta, and all newsletter editors should plan to attend. Affiliates not currently publishing a newsletter should consider sending a representative to learn how to get started.

In recent years the committee has met on Sunday evening, but be sure to consult the convention agenda for the time and place of this important meeting. We will discuss lots of practical topics, and you will come away with tips that will help you produce a better newsletter right away.

Mock Trial
by Scott LaBarre

The National Association of Blind Lawyers will sponsor its tenth annual Mock Trial at the 2007 NFB convention. This trial will reenact an old Federation case. Federation lawyers will be pitted against each other arguing the merits of the two positions.

We have not selected this year’s trial, but it will undoubtedly highlight a case in which a blind person or persons have faced different treatment based on their blindness in the area of education, employment, or other civil rights. Stay tuned to Presidential Releases and NFB list servs for details on this year’s case. See your favorite Federation lawyers strut their legal stuff.

You, the audience, will serve as the jury. This year's trial promises to be just as entertaining and thought-provoking as past trials. A nominal charge of $5 per person will benefit the National Association of Blind Lawyers. Because this is the tenth anniversary of the Mock Trial, we anticipate making a Mock Trial highlight CD available for purchase. The trial will take place on Sunday afternoon, July 1, at 4:30 p.m. somewhere in the Marriott Marquis. Consult the convention agenda for the exact place.

National Association of Blind Merchants
by Kevan Worley

The National Association of Blind Merchants would like to thank our loyal snack pack customers over the past ten years. The snack pack not only has been a lot of fun and a great fundraiser for our division, but has also helped many conventioneers on tight budgets to snack pretty well. This year our plan is to sell our ever-popular snack pack again. Only $5 will get you a grab bag of snacks, salty and sweet. So come to our table in the exhibit hall, enjoy a small cool drink, buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win $1,000, and prepare to be surprised and delighted by our latest entrepreneurial venture. I’m sure we will have something new to sell you. We are Federation merchants.

The annual meeting of the National Association of Blind Merchants will take place Monday afternoon, July 2, at 1:30 p.m. Check the convention agenda for location. This year registration for our division meeting will begin approximately thirty minutes after adjournment of the board of directors meeting. If you are involved in the Randolph-Sheppard program or operate a similar business, you won’t want to miss this merchants’ meeting. This year's agenda will focus on protection of the priority and the creation of new, robust business opportunities and outreach to young people to develop their interest in small business ventures. On Wednesday, July 4, from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m., we invite you to our seventh annual Randolph-Sheppard reception. Socialize, network, and learn more about Randolph-Sheppard opportunities. Check the convention agenda for location. On Tuesday morning, July 3, our Federation merchant team will be participating in the first-ever National Federation of the Blind March for Independence. We will carry our Federation merchant team banner high, proclaiming the independence of the blind.

National Association of Blind Office Professionals
by Lisa Hall

The National Association of Blind Office Professionals (NABOP) will hold its annual meeting in Atlanta on Saturday, June 30. Please check the agenda for room location, which will be listed on the Web or when you arrive in Atlanta. Registration will start at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. If you are looking for an office job in customer service, Braille transcribing, Braille proofreading, medical transcribing, telephone switchboard operator, receptionist, or clerk or if you are an employment specialist placing blind people in office settings, we would love to have you attend the meeting to share concerns and information with our members. The agenda is still being worked on, but everything should be in place by the time convention rolls around. Get to the meeting early to learn about the resources in our movement. Some exciting things are happening this year.

If you would like to find out more about our division, contact Lisa Hall, president, 7001 Hamilton Avenue, Unit 2, Cincinnati, Ohio 45231-5262; (513) 931-7070 (evenings and weekends); email <lhall007@cinci.rr.com>.

If you would like to become a member or to pay your 2007 dues before the convention, membership dues are $5 a year and can be sent to Debbie Brown, treasurer, 11923 Parklawn Drive, Apartment 104, Rockville, Maryland 20852; (301) 881-1892 (evenings and weekends); email <dabro@loc.gov>.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta.

National Association of Blind Piano Technicians
by Don Mitchell

The national association of blind piano technicians will hold a piano technology seminar at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, July 2. We invite both career guidance counselors and those looking for a personal and financially rewarding career to join us to learn about opportunities in the field of piano technology for the blind. We will explore where and how you can get training. If you are unable to attend the seminar or want additional information, the president, Don Mitchell, will be arranging one-on-one meetings with working piano technicians to learn about this exciting career. Contact Don’s room during the convention using the hotel telephone switchboard. Check the convention agenda to find the location of this seminar.

National Association to Promote the Use of Braille
by Nadine Jacobson

It's truly hard to believe that our national convention will be here shortly. This year the National Association to Promote the Use of Braille (NAPUB) meeting will be held on July 2 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. If you want to get the very latest information on all of the important issues concerning Braille, this is the place to be.

As has become tradition, we will also be sponsoring jointly with the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC) a children's Braille book flea market. Please help us find new homes with anxious young readers for those Braille books that are no longer being used. Watch for further details and contact information.

The Braille Readers Are Leaders contest is one of our most important projects, and you will be amazed at how much our contest participants read during the past year. In addition to our regular agenda items we will have some interesting items to auction off, with the proceeds helping to fund the contest. Please come and join in the excitement. If you have questions or possible agenda items, please contact Nadine Jacobson (952) 927-7694; email <nadine.jacobson@visi.com>. See you there.

National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals
by Carlos Serván

The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals (NABRP) will meet Monday, July 2, for our annual seminar and business meeting. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the seminar and business meeting will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The NABRP meeting is an opportunity for all rehabilitation professionals in the blindness field to get together, network, share mutual interests, find placement strategies, examine concerns about the rehabilitation profession, and generally shape quality services for the blind in the nation.

If you are involved in rehabilitation for the blind, you don't want to miss this meeting. We promise to have nationally recognized leaders in the rehabilitation field to help us examine and discuss current issues in rehab. If you have any questions about this meeting, feel free to contact Carlos Serván at (402) 327-0414, or send an email to <cservan@inebraska.com>.

National Association of Blind Students
by Ryan Strunk

A group of students enjoys cards at Monte Carlo Night. The National Association of Blind Students will conduct its annual meeting on Sunday, July 1, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the NFB convention. Registration with a fee of $5 will begin at 6:00 p.m. We will also be hosting Monte Carlo Night on Wednesday, July 4, from 8:00 p.m. until midnight. Monte Carlo Night is a fundraiser for the student division, and this year it will be bigger and better than ever. Come support the students and have fun at the same time. For more information contact Ryan Strunk, president, (402) 261-5368, or email <r_strunk@hotmail.com>.

National Association of Guide Dog Users
by Priscilla Ferris

The National Association of Dog Guide Users (NAGDU) will meet twice during the convention. Please consult your agenda for the meeting rooms. We have tried to plan some interesting program items and are sure you will enjoy them. Have your questions ready.
The first NAGDU meeting will take place Saturday, June 30. We will introduce special guests, hear reports from dog guide schools, and conduct our business meeting from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Registration will begin at 6:00 p.m.

On Monday, July 2, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., we will discuss “Making an Informed Choice.” A panel will address several ways of training with a guide dog. We will have several other agenda items and, of course, our popular Juno walks.

NFB in Computer Science
by Curtis Chong

The 2007 meeting of the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science will take place on Monday, July 2, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. during the convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

With the recent releases of Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007, it is important for all of us to understand whether or not these programs will work with access technology for the blind. New computers that are purchased today will have the Windows Vista operating system installed on them, and new purchases of the Microsoft Office product will get you Office 2007. Therefore we are planning to devote a portion of our meeting to a discussion of these new systems, hopefully hearing from blind people who have obtained practical experience with them.

Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has been promoting something called User Interface Automation. This is supposed to be the next generation of a protocol that would enable mainstream programs to communicate better with assistive technologies. However, it seems that this new protocol has not yet caught on. Why not? We will devote some time at our meeting to this topic if we can find the right people to talk about it.

Finally, we are planning one or more program items to address the concerns of blind information technology professionals (programmers, system engineers, technical support specialists, and the like). Perhaps we will talk about the techniques used by the blind to write software in the programming languages of today such as C Plus Plus, Power Basic, etc. For more information about our annual meeting or the NFB in Computer Science, you can contact Curtis Chong, president, NFB in Computer Science, by phone (515) 277-1288 during evenings or weekends, or by email at <curtischong@earthlink.net>.

National Organization of Blind Educators
by Sheila Koenig

On Monday, July 2, the National Organization of Blind Educators (NOBE) will conduct its annual meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration begins at 1:00 p.m. NOBE is a network of blind teachers and those interested in careers in education. Our meeting will offer an opportunity to meet blind people teaching at various grade levels and in different content areas.

Many questions arise as people contemplate and realize their dreams of teaching: how will potential employers react to a blind applicant? How does a blind person manage students in a classroom? How does one accomplish the daily duties as well as the "other duties as assigned" for which teachers are required? During our seminar at the 2007 convention in Atlanta, successful blind teachers will discuss such questions. Seminar participants will also meet in small groups specific to grade level and content areas of interest. In this way we can create a network of mentors extending beyond our meeting. If you teach or are considering a career in teaching at any level, plan to join us.

National Organization of the Senior Blind
by Judy Sanders

We will have no time for senior moments at the upcoming convention of the National Federation of the Blind--particularly on the evening of July 1, 2007. This is when all those interested in issues affecting blind seniors will gather for the annual meeting of the National Organization of the Senior Blind (NOSB.)

We will open the doors at 6:00 p.m. to begin registration and our ever-popular somewhat silent auction. To make the auction work, we are once again counting on generous contributions of Federationists both in items for the auction and in emptying wallets and checkbooks. Please see that your items arrive in time for eager bidders. Our thanks to Ramona Walhof for coordinating this activity.
As the entire convention of the National Federation of the Blind holds its March for Independence, we will reinforce the right of every blind senior to retain control of his or her own life; our meeting will be packed full of information from and for blind seniors. Learn how we can partner with local community groups such as Lions Clubs to reach out to seniors. Are other NFB divisions of particular interest to us? In addition to hearing diverse speakers, we will consider changing the name of our organization. Do we want to make it clear that we are a proud part of the National Federation of the Blind? If so, we will discuss amending our constitution so that our name will include National Federation of the Blind.

The meeting will adjourn no later than 10:00 p.m. If you have questions or suggestions for the agenda, call Judy Sanders at (612) 375-1625; email <jsanders.nfb@comcast.net>. One final thing: leave your ID in your hotel room. Everyone is welcome.

Performing Arts Division
by Dennis Holston

At this year’s convention in Atlanta, the Performing Arts Division will have its general meeting on Monday, July 2, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. During this meeting President Dennis Holston will discuss the division’s many ongoing projects and the new activities ahead. We will discuss the NFB songs album as well as the “Sight in Sound” album, the compilation album project that the division began putting together earlier this year. The division’s new mentoring program will also be discussed, and the division will hear a few words from Carlos J. Montas, the mentoring program’s coordinator. Along with all of this we will hear from some blind and visually impaired speakers who have established their careers in the performing arts. We will also have a question and answer segment at the meeting. Please join the division this year in Atlanta. Division dues are $5.

Rehabilitation Conference
Contemporary Issues in Orientation and Mobility and Rehabilitation

by Christine Brown

Saturday, June 30, 2007
8:45 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Inspired by the cane travel teachers she worked with at convention, Melissa Fernandez teaches her son Jacob about using the long white cane. He is pictured here astride the cane like a horse. Perhaps he has a little more to learn about cane use.The National Association of Blind Rehabilitation Professionals, the National Blindness Professional Certification Board, and the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness are proud to announce the sixth annual rehabilitation conference, which will be held at the convention of the National Federation of the Blind. The conference agenda will include presentations from key leaders and professionals working in the fields of rehabilitation and orientation and mobility.

Registration for the conference will begin at 8:00 a.m.. Room location will be listed on the convention agenda, available June 1, 2007, at <www.nfb.org>. The registration fee is $50 for professionals and $25 for students. Preregistration will be available online at <www.nbpcb.org> beginning April 1, 2007. A limited number of scholarships for conference attendance will be available; contact the Institute on Blindness for details.

The conference will be of particular interest to those currently working in the fields of rehabilitation for the blind, students in professional preparation programs, those interested in mobility training as a career, and those with general interest in rehabilitation for the blind.
Continuing Education Credits: Conference attendees will be eligible to receive CE units towards the following certifications: National Orientation and Mobility Certification (NOMC), Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). For more information about the conference contact the Institute on Blindness at (318) 257-4554 or <instituteonblindness@nbpcb.org>.

Roman Catholic Mass
by Mary Ellen Jernigan

Father Gregory Paul, C.P., will celebrate Mass on Sunday morning, July 1, at 6:30 a.m. The room assignment will be listed in the agenda. I am happy to report that Father Gregory is now fully recovered from the knee surgery he had shortly before last year’s convention.

Showcase of Talent
by Adrienne Snow

The Talent Showcase will be held on Tuesday, July 3, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Check your agenda for the room assignment. Come and share your talent with the National Federation of the Blind community. We are looking for acts of singing, instrumental, poetry, or even comedy. You will be allotted a three-minute spot, so keep this in mind when planning your act. You can sign up for the talent showcase at convention by contacting Adrienne Snow in her guest room or Brooke Fox and the Performing Arts Division table in the exhibit hall. We encourage all NFB members to come and support your family and friends. Admission is $5 to all, including those performing. We hope to see you at convention.

Social Security Seminar
by James McCarthy and Teresa Uttermohlen

An outreach seminar, “Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: What Applicants, Advocates, and Recipients Should Know,” will take place Wednesday afternoon, July 4. The purpose of this seminar is to share information on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for the blind, including the income subsidy program for those receiving the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Seminar presenters will be Jim McCarthy, director of governmental affairs for the National Federation of the Blind, and his wife Terri Uttermohlen, first vice president of the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the NFB of Maryland with many years of experience providing training and technical assistance to work incentives specialists and those receiving benefits throughout the nation. Social Security representatives may be available to hand out publications describing their programs and share tips about communicating with the Social Security Administration. Those wanting a better understanding of the programs and benefits offered by the Social Security Administration are strongly encouraged to join Jim and Terri at this seminar.

Sports and Recreation Division
by Lisamaria Martinez

Goalballs are round, footballs are not.
Sports and Rec has a meeting on Monday, come see what is hot.
Dance steps and yoga, cycling and more.
This is one meeting where you won't hear a snore.
Twelve thirty registration then one thirty to five;
Join us and learn how to jump and jive.
Come one, come all, come as you may;
Sports and Recreation Division has something important to say.
If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, contact Lisamaria Martinez at (510) 289-2577 or <lmartinez217@gmail.com>.

Travel and Tourism
by Doug Johnson

Welcome to Atlanta. For all members and potential members, our division's annual meeting will be held on Monday, July 2, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Speakers and meeting location to be announced. If you are interested in travel, this is the meeting for you.

Attention Veterans
by Dwight Sayer

Attention concerned veterans. On Tuesday, July 3, at 8:00 p.m., we will hold a meeting of veterans and other interested parties in the Affiliate Action suite to discuss forming an NFB Veterans Division. If we reach a consensus at that time, we will elect officers, collect dues, and move forward with the business of establishing a national veterans group. I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta.

Webmasters
by Gary Wunder

One of the fastest-growing sources of information today is the Internet, and the way people access it is through the Worldwide Web. Because much of our mission is to change public attitudes about blindness, we need to have a strong presence there, with affiliates whose sites reflect interesting, current, and visually appealing information.

To further the ability of chapters and affiliates to establish and maintain quality sites, we will conduct a meeting for division and affiliate Webmasters at our national convention. Our meeting will be held on Sunday evening, July 1, so please check your agenda for place and time. Suggestions for what you would like to see on our agenda may be sent to Gary Wunder, 3910 Tropical Lane, Columbia, Missouri 65202, or sent by email to <gwunder@earthlink.net>.

Writers Division
by Tom Stevens

The Writers Division will conduct a poetry- and short story/fiction-reading session on Saturday, June 30, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Registration without fee at the door is requested. Presenters are asked to make themselves known to the chair so they can be scheduled.
The division will also conduct its annual meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, July 2. Featured speakers include Robert Newman, Jerry Whittle, and Lori Stayer. Membership dues are $10, but there is no charge for attending the division meeting. Members receive a copy of the division magazine, Slate and Style, published quarterly on tape, in large print, in Braille, or by email. If you have questions, contact Tom Stevens at (573) 445-6091.

Youth Outreach Roundtable
by Mark Riccobono

At this year’s convention the NFB Jernigan Institute Education Team will facilitate a discussion for NFB members interested in increasing outreach in their affiliates to blind teens. This session will allow affiliates to share ideas about how they have successfully created youth outreach opportunities in local communities. We will also discuss programs of the NFB Jernigan Institute and the creation of new supports and tools to help affiliates build relationships with educators and students. The goal of this session will be to strengthen the network of Federationists motivated to empower youth through the NFB. Ideas discussed during the roundtable will also assist affiliates interested in submitting Imagination Fund grant applications for programs targeting blind youth. Additionally the Jernigan Institute will use this discussion as a springboard for future projects in youth empowerment. Check your convention agenda for the exact time and date of this discussion. We encourage each affiliate to be sure a representative is present. This session will last about two hours.

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